Sun, May 18, 2008

FEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD! PART 2 EXODUS 9:13-21

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Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
FEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD!
PART 2
EXODUS 9:13-21

            Please turn in your Bibles this morning to Exodus chapter 9 as we are in part 2 of our study – FEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD!  Last week we saw how the New Age movement is spreading quickly throughout the world and this morning we will look at how it has now entered into the church.  In fact, it is flooding into the church and few are concerned about it. The major theme of the New Age is that we are god and as we saw last time, here is what they are saying:

  • All that exists is God.
  • All Mankind is part of that divinity.
  • In each person, there dwells the higher self, which is the divine essence of that person.
  • The higher self is the guide to realizing the wisdom of the universe.
  • Meditation (stilling the mind of thought) is the way to connect with the higher self.
  • A person can control his own reality once he has contacted the higher self, working in unison with its powers.

Folks, I have been a Christian for some 25 years now and I would have never expected to see the church of Jesus Christ embracing these doctrines of demons, but tragically, they are! Let me set the stage for what we will be looking at this morning by quoting from Warren Smith’s book, “Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel.” Warren Smith is an ex-New Ager and now he is an evangelical Christian author, and he tells us:

            Self-described futurist and “conscious evolutionist” Barbara Marx Hubbard writes that in 1966 she heard an “inner voice” that came in response to a question she had asked aloud and directed to God – “What is our story? What in our age is comparable to the birth of Christ?” After asking the question she said she fell into a dreamlike state and was given an intense vision of the future. In the vision Hubbard saw the earth from a distance. She was made to understand that the earth was a living body and that she was a cell in its body.

            Feeling her “oneness” with the earth, she experienced its pain and confusion. When her vision abruptly fast-forwarded into the future, she could see the earth and its people were now surrounded by a radiant light. She watched as the whole planet was “aligned” in “a magnetic field of love” and lifted up by the brilliant light. Widespread healings took place as individuals experienced the merging of their own “inner light” with the bright light that was surrounding them. A tremendous force emanating from the light sent powerful currents of joyful energy “rippling” through the body of humanity.

            The world celebrated as all the Earth was born again. The pain and confusion were gone. Love had prevailed. The “inner voice” told her to spread the message of the vision.

            On Christmas Day in 1979, she had a revelation that the presence in her 1966 vision had been “Christ.”  Since 1966 Hubbard has fulfilled her commission from “Christ” to tell his “new gospel” story. From NASA to the former USSR, from Georgia State Legislature to the United Nations, she has spoken to thousands of people and hundreds of groups and organizations about the “planetary birth experience” she had been shown in her vision. In the process she has become a respected “world citizen,” known and loved by many for her insights about “God” and “Christ” and the future of humanity Hubbard is a co-founding board member of the World Future Society.

            Today she is on a first name basis with many world leaders and proudly describes herself as part of “the New Order of the Future.”

            Through the years Hubbard has received voluminous information from her “Christ.” In her 1993 book, The Revelation: Our Crisis Is a Birth (later renamed The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium).

            Hubbard and “Christ” “rewrite” the Bible’s Book of Revelation. In The Revelation Hubbard’s “Christ” provides specific instructions on how a united humanity, purposefully partnering with God, can literally re-create the future.

            Hubbard’s Christ teaches that the “violent” Armageddon script described in the Bible does not have to happen, that is only a “possible” future, emphasizing that a more “positive” future can and will manifest when humanity – without exception – openly declares its “oneness” with him and all creation. This positive scenario and the means to attaining it is called “the alternative to Armageddon.” [Isn’t that, in a sense, what Kingdom Now theology is teaching, no Armageddon, the world is getting better for Christ to return!]

            Hubbard’s “Christ” describes how planet Earth is at an evolutionary crossroads. He states that the world is about to make an evolutionary leap that will take all creation to a new level. Those who awaken to their own divinity, by aligning themselves as one with God and one with each other, will evolve.

            Those who continue to believe in “fear” and “separation,” rather than in “love” and “oneness,” will not evolve. Hubbard’s “Christ” claims that with his help most of mankind will choose to evolve, calling this evolutionary leap “the Planetary Birth Experience.”

            He refers to it as the coming time of “Planetary Pentecost.” The “birth experience” is a shared event in the future, an “Instant of Co-operation,” when everyone on the planet will be mysteriously changed in “the twinkling of an eye,” as humanity is collectively born again into a new creation. Those who evolve will actually become a new species as Homo sapiens is collectively transformed into Homo universalis, or the “Universal Humanity.”

            The “Universal Humanity” will live together as a community of natural Christs” in the New Heaven” on the “New Earth” that is the “New Jerusalem.”

            But Hubbard’s “Christ,” while describing the “birth experience” and affirming his love for all mankind, nevertheless warns that there will be no place in the “New Jerusalem” for those who refuse to see themselves and others as a part of God. He describes, therefore, the necessity of a “selection process” that will select out resistant individuals who “choose” not to evolve. This “selection process” is a “purification” that will be accomplished through “the shock of a fire.”

            “Christ” states that those who see themselves as “separate” and not divine hinder humanity’s ability to spiritually evolve. Those who deny their own “divinity” are “cancer cells” in the body of God. “Christ” warns that a healthy body must have no cancer cells. Cancer cells must be healed or completely removed from the body.  He describes the means of removal as the “selection process.” The “selection process” results in the deaths of those who refuse to see themselves as a part of God. After the “selection process” the spirit bodies of the departed individuals will continue to be “purified” in the spirit realm. [Sounds like an explanation for the rapture, with all those missing people and then a justification to kill those who come to Christ during the Tribulation Period!]

            Hubbard’s “Christ” emphasizes that they will not be given another physical body and they will not be able to rejoin humanity until they rid themselves of all “self-centeredness.” He defines “self-centeredness” as “the illusion” that one is “separate” from God.  The self-centered temptation to see oneself as “separate,” and not as part of God, is “evil” and must be “overcome.” He also refers to self-centeredness, or this illusion of separateness, as “Satan.”

            In the future described by Hubbard’s “Christ” anyone who refuses to see themselves and others as “God” and “Christ” will be removed by the “selection process.” Those professing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior would be subject to this process, as would traditional Jews, Muslims and all others who refuse to see themselves as part of God.

- Warren Smith, Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel

            This morning we will be focusing on how the New Age movement has come into the church and one of the biggest proponents of this is the Emerging church or the Emergent church, they are one and the same!  With that as our background, lets begin reading in Exodus chapter 9, stating in verse 13 and see what the Lord has for us as we study His Word!

EXODUS 9:13-21

            As we saw last time in this seventh plague that came against Pharaoh and the Egyptians, a plague of hail mingled with fire that would destroy everything that was out in the field, but God also told them that if they came in from the fields they would be spared. Those that obeyed the Lord, those that feared the word of YAHWEH were spared and those that didn’t were destroyed in this judgment!

            It is no different today. We see a strong push to degrade God’s Word, put it down, tell us it is not sufficient for us, they are just stories and-so-on, and this garbage does not set people free, it only keeps them in bondage.  In John 8:31-32 we are told, Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’  And yet, listen to this article from our local newspaper and you will see what people think of the Bible. We are told:

Most popular: Bible  

“A recent Harris Poll once again confirmed that the Bible is the most popular book in the United States. Of 2,500 –plus adults surveyed, it was the clear-cut choice in each of the demographic groups surveyed.

What does that say about religion? Possibly nothing or very little. Think of all the church encyclicals that come out, and how you probably can’t recite a verse from a single one.

The Bible’s enduring appeal is in the power of its storytelling. Just like Aesop’s fables, it’s the moral of the story that speaks to us. If you’re not so concerned about winning an argument over literal meanings or interpreting a message, the broad-brush strokes of biblical stories tell us how universal values, fears and troubles play out in life situations.”

            In other words, who cares about the truth!  A very sad statement indeed, but that is what the Emerging church is all about folks!  R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., questions McLaren's claim to the new truths, the new gospel that is being preached. This is what Mohler wrote:

“Unwilling to affirm that the Bible contains propositional truths that form the framework for Christian belief, this movement argues that we can have Christian symbolism and substance without those thorny questions of truthfulness that have so vexed the modern mind,”

Mohler continues on by writing:

"The worldview of postmodernism -- complete with an epistemology [the theory of knowledge] that denies the possibility of or need for propositional truth -- affords the movement an opportunity to hop, skip and jump throughout the Bible and the history Christian thought in order to take whatever pieces they want from one theology and attach them, like doctrinal post-it notes, to whatever picture they would want to draw."

In other words, you can pick and choose what you want and what you don’t want! Paul warns us in II Thessalonians 2:3-4, Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. This falling away or this apostasy will begin before the 7-year Tribulation Period starts and the Antichrist, the man of sin is revealed! I believe the apostasy has begun and this is not speaking of atheists, but of the church moving away from the truths of God found in the Word of God!

Last week I shared with you that I believe “the lie” that the Bible speaks of is related to the idea that we are gods.  And this is not just a New Age idea, it started with the fall of Lucifer and was then introduced to Eve in the Garden of Eden by the Lucifer and it is now permeating the world!

And I believe we see this spoken of in Matthew 24:5, in the Olivet Discourse as Jesus tells us, For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  The Greek word for many is POLUS and it speaks of a very great number, as in millions and millions of people, not just a select few and they will claim to be god! If you still doubt that, look at Luke 21:7-8, where we are told of this same teaching, this Olivet Discourse, So they asked Him, saying, ‘Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?’ And He said: ‘Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am He,” and, “The time has drawn near.” Therefore do not go after them.’  In verse 8 the word Heor Christ is italicized, it shouldn’t be there but was put there by the translators to make it clearer, but it truly doesn’t. It should read, Many shall come saying, ‘I AM.’ Isn’t that interesting because that is what the New Age movement is saying and it is what the church is beginning to say!

How can this be? One source tells us one of the reasons for this and it is a big one. They write:

“While religion is highly popular in America, it is to a large extent superficial; it does not change people’s lives to the degree one would expect from their level of professed faith. Related to this is a ‘knowledge gap’ between Americans’ stated faith and the lack of the most basic knowledge about that faith.”

“In the spring of 1991, New York University released a nationwide study which showed 86 percent of all Americans identified with Christianity. Yet, another study showed that only nineteen percent of Americans knew that being a Christian was having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Where are we today?

Richard E. Geis comments in his personal journal that:

“The mainstream Christians are lip-service religions in the main, convenience religions, social religions, and they are the ones most subject to erosion and defections and infiltration and subversion. A large and successful effort seems to have been made by the occultists’ New Age planners to dilute and alter the message of the mainstream Christian religions.”

This is made evident by a quote which appeared in a newspaper interview with the owner of a New Age bookstore. She reveals:

“A lot of people come in who are very Christian.  They are looking, by whatever means, to move closer to God on an individual basis.”

Is this really happening in the church today?  I am very sad to say it is and I am going to start out by looking at a few Word of Faith teachers who have been promoting this doctrine that we are god for years, and again, few are concerned about it, even though it is contrary to what the Scriptures tell us. It is a doctrine of demons, it is “the lie” that the Bible is speaking of.

Kenneth Copeland has this to say about us being god. He writes:

“Being in Christ Jesus make you a new creature, or a new creation. The literal Greek text says ‘A new species of being which never existed before.’ When you become a new creature, your sprit is completely recreated.  Old things are passed away, all things become new and all things are of God. You need to realize that you are not a spiritual schizophrenic-half-God and half-Satan-you are all-God.”

Elsewhere, Copeland is more explicit:

“Every man who has been born again is an incarnation and Christianity is a miracle. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth.” (Word of Faith, 1980, KCP Publications, p. 14).

“I say this and repeat it so it don’t upset you too bad. When I read the Bible where (Jesus) says, ‘I am,” I say, ‘Yes, I Am, too (July 19, 1987 crusade).

“God’s reason for creating Adam was His desire to reproduce Himself. . . . He was not a little like God. He was not almost like God. He was not subordinate to God even.” (Following the faith of Abraham, tape).

Kenneth Hagin tells us, “Man . . . was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority. . . . God has made us as much like Himself as possible. . . . He made us the same class of being that He is Himself. . . . Man lived in the realm of God. He lived on terms equal with God. . . . [T]he believer is called Christ. . . . That’s who we are; we’re Christ!”  (Zoe: The God-Kind of Life, pp 35-36, 41).

Morris Cerullo makes this bold claim: “Did you know that from the beginning of time the whole purpose of God was to reproduce Himself? . . . Who are you? Come on, who are you?  Come on, say it: ‘Sons of God!’ Come on, say it! And what does work inside us, brother, is that manifestation of the expression of all that God is and all that God has. And when we stand up here, brother, you’re not looking at Morris Cerullo; you’re looking at God. You’re looking at Jesus.”  (The Endtime Manifestation of the Sons of God, tape).

M. Scott Peck, a psychologist, wrote a book, The Road Less Traveled, that has been read by many Christians and New Age followers, and yet his words are not of God and that leaves only one other place they came from!  He wrote, “God wants us to become Himself (or Herself or Itself). We are growing toward godhood. God is the goal of evolution.”  (The Road Less Traveled, p. 270).  How sad that Christians have read this book and yet see nothing wrong with his teachings!  I have seen this book in Christian bookstores, in Christian book Distribution Company’s, being promoted by Christians!  It is not at all Christian and yet, Christians are reading it and thus, do they believe we are god?

On the TBN program, Praise The Lord back on July 7, 1986, Paul Crouch made this comment: “Do you know what else has settled in tonight?  This hue and cry and controversy that has been spawned by the devil to try to bring dissension within the body of Christ that we are not gods. I have His name. I am one with Him. I’m in covenant relation. I am a little god. Critics be gone.“

Copeland goes on to say, “You don’t have a God in you. You are one!” (The Force of Love, tape).

Now if you don’t believe this is moving into mainstream evangelical churches, you are not paying attention to what is going on.  Listen to this quote by emerging church authorLeonard Sweet who spoke at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, attended by thousands of evangelical leaders from across the nation. We are told:

“The first of these five untheorized observations is that New Light embodiment means to be “in connection” and ‘in-formation’ with other Christians. Deeper feeling and higher relating go together. The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a comm-union whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness. New Lights offer up themselves as the cosmions of a mind-of-Christ consciousness. As a cosmion incarnating the cells of a new body, New Lights will function as transitional vessels through which transforming energy can renew the divine image in the world, moving postmodern from one state of embodiment to another.”

At the recent re-think conference, back on January 17-19, 2008 at the Crystal Cathedral in California, we see this garbage being passed on to other leaders and lay people alike. This event was co-hosted by Erwin McManus and Robert Schuller, and the idea behind this event is to show that there is a paradigm shift underway. These speakers insisted that Christianity must be re-thought and re-invented if the name of Jesus Christ is going to survive here on planet earth now that we have entered the twenty-first century. I have news for them, it does not need to be re-invented, we need to get back to the basics of Christianity, get back to the Bible!

Roger Oakland, who was at the conference, tells us:

“The conference opened with an on-stage dialogue between Schuller and McManus. Schuller gave a brief overview of his accomplishments through his many years of ministry. He explained how pleased he was to be able to look back at the tremendous leaders he has mentored over the years, which include Willow Creek’s seeker-friendly pioneer pastor Bill Hybels, the six million member Church of God in Christ’s Bishop Charles Blake, and Rick Warren who has pioneered the purpose driven church and the purpose driven life.”

And what are these church leaders telling us? What are they promoting? Folks, it is nothing more than New Age doctrine with a veneer of Christianity, which is being striped away. Listen carefully to what they are saying because if you remember from our last study, they are what New Age proponents are also saying! We are told:

"With practice, you can develop the habit of praying silent 'breath prayers'"
Rick Warren, from his book (p. 299)

"[U]se 'breath prayers' throughout the day, as many Christians have done for centuries. You choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated to Jesus in one breath."—Rick Warren, Purpose-Driven Life, p. 89.

"Does Buddha have anything to offer non-Buddhists in the workplace? My answer is a wholehearted, 'Yes.'— Ken Blanchard, co-author of the One Minute Manager, from the foreword and front cover of What Would Buddha Do in the Workplace?

Bruce Wilkinson tells us, "We have promoted an unbiblical message that becoming born-again is the answer to everything. It's not. It changes your eternity, but it doesn't change your sexual behaviour, for instance. The gospel does not always have the answer for modern-day dilemmas"

From Youth Specialties, we are told:

"I built myself a prayer room—a tiny sanctuary in a basement closet filled with books on spiritual disciplines, contemplative prayer, and Christian mysticism. In that space I lit candles, burned incense, hung rosaries, and listened to tapes of Benedictine monks. I meditated for hours on words, images, and sounds. I reached the point of being able to achieve alpha brain patterns..."— Mike Perschon, Youth Specialties Magazine, 
December 2004

"Choose a sacred word or phrase. Consistently use the same word throughout the prayer. Begin silently to repeat your sacred word or phrase” Mark Yaconelli, Youth Specialties National Pastor's Convention.

"Spiritual ecstasy. The third phase of contemplative prayer ... a supernatural trance state ..." Charisma magazine, Oct. 2004

"Contemplative prayer is nothing other than coming into consciousness of what is already there." Brennan Manning, Signature of Jesus

"Brennan (Manning) is my friend, walking ahead of me on the path toward home. As I watch him from behind, I am drawn to more closely follow on the path..." Larry Crabb, endorsement of Abba's Child.

"I began practicing meditation, specifically breath prayer, once again. I integrated the use of Tai Chi and yoga" John Michael Talbot, Interview with Christianity Today 10/22/2001.

"Its [visualization] effect is to dissolve our internal barriers to natural harmony and self realization" Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization.

Matthew Fox tells us that, “We need to become aware of the Cosmic Christ, which means recognizing that every being has within it the light of Christ.” “Everyone is born a mystic and a lover who experiences the unity of things and all are called to keep this mystic or love of live alive.”

M. Basil Pennington wrote, “When we go to the center of our being and pass through that center into the very center of God we get in immediate touch with this divine creating energy . . . that the divine energy may have the freedom to forward the evolution of consciousness in us and through us, as a part of the whole, in the whole of the creation.”

“[T]he God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is the same as the one who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being.” (Here and Now by Henri Nouwen, p. 22).

“Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center.” (Streams of Living Water by Richard Foster, 1998, beginning of chapter 2 – a quote by Thomas Kelly).

“[Even people] who have yet to turn their lives over to Jesus Christ – can and should practice them. [spiritual disciplines].” (Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, p. 2).

“[I]f I find Christ, I will find my true self and if I find my true self, I will find Christ.” (Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning, p. 125).

Some of you may be thinking I am making much to do about nothing. I have even heard some teachers say that we should just ignore the Emerging church and it will go away! I wonder how many people said that about Hitler and did he go away?  Yes, the Emerging church may evolve into something else, but here me out on this. Their doctrines of demons will move on, they will leave behind their deadly poison of false doctrine for people to follow after and take with them to whatever comes next down the pike! If you doubt what I am saying you need to read the two following books and you will be shocked at what is happening in churches across America.

The first book is called Running Against the Wind by Brian Flynn. Brian was a New Age follower, he even had a spirit guide, a demon directing him.  And then he got saved. And to his astonishment, he was seeing New Age teachings, New Age practices going on in the church he was attending, besides many other churches. And when he confronted the leadership at his church about this, they saw nothing wrong and he eventually had to leave that church!  Devin Reeves in his book, The Other Side of the River had a similar experience and he too had to leave his church because once again the New Age practices he was delivered from, were being taught in his church, even that we are god!

Lighthouse Trails warns us:

No one group understands emerging spirituality as much as those in the New Age. That's because it is their religion. So when the evangelical emerging church movement rose to the forefront, New Agers must have found it quite intriguing and most likely rewarding to see their belief system finally take root in Christendom.

In the book, As Above, So Below, written by Ronald S. Miller and the editors of New Age Journal, the authors appropriately name the first chapter "The Emerging Spirituality." Now some may say, "Oh, they might call it that, but it isn't the same as the Emerging Church ala McLaren, Kimball, Pagitt, etc. That's an entirely different ball game." Well, let's take a look at this chapter in the New Age book. The chapter, "The Emerging Spirituality" starts off with a story about Jesus and Moses. That would certainly throw a few people--only Christians talk about Jesus, right? The book then quotes New Ager Joan Borysenko who explains the significance of the story they relate:

Like the Jesus of this story, ... many of us lose touch with our own indwelling Divine nature-the unlimited creative potential of love the real Jesus assured us could literally move mountains.

            The book goes on to say that the problem with most people is they have forgotten who they really are, don't know their purpose or reason for existing and just need to reach higher to grasp their utmost potential. It sounds just like some of our most popular evangelical leaders. And like many emerging church leaders, the book says we need to get away from "automatized programs" and have a wake up call. The book tells us that this "wake up call" comes in the form of the metaphysical (mysticism), the "esoteric core of all the world's spiritual traditions." This mirrors what Rick Warren (who promotes the emerging church and its spirituality) said in his book, the Purpose Driven Church, where he praised the "Spiritual Formation" movement which he sees as God's way of bringing "believers to full maturity." Warren said that the movement had a "valid message for the church" and gave "the body of Christ a wake-up call" (pp. 126-127).

The problem is that the Spiritual Formation movement draws on the same mystical techniques as found in the New Age movement, (eg., mantras breath prayers). In Warren's book, he touts Richard Foster and Dallas Willard as icons of the Spiritual Formation movement. When Warren said maturity, it implies that the church has been immature because of it's lack of mystical deficiency. At other times Rick Warren has stated that his "new reformation," an idea that New Agers share, would incorporate those from different religious traditions. Warren may use the name of Jesus quite often, but the overall concept implies that faith in Jesus is not really necessary to bring peace into the world, and this is exactly the thing that the New Age teaches.

As Above, So Below (a type of manual for the New Age) says that "we possess a hidden higher self, the spark of divinity within the soul" (p. 3). Once again, we can turn to emerging/contemplative leaders within Christendom to see they are saying the same thing. Anyone who has read Brennan Manning will recognize the term higher self. And in Max Lucado's book, Cure for the Common Life, Lucado talks about the "divine spark" that is in each person. And we could give numerous other examples of contemplative emerging authors and leaders who talk like this, even though they name the name of Christ. So the New Age teaches a higher self and a "spark of divinity" within the soul of every person, and so do Christian leaders.

Miller's book says that mysticism is the "highest common factor" (p. 2) that links all religions together. He adds that we can practice this mysticism and still remain in our own religion. That's exactly what Thomas Merton came to believe when he spoke with Dr. Bramachari,1 a Hindu monk who told him he didn't have to leave the Christian tradition to be the best Buddhist he could be. Tony Campolo, another emerging/contemplative evangelical saw this common factor and suggested this very thing in his book, Speaking My Mind :

Beyond these models of reconciliation, a theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have within their histories examples of ecstatic union with God ... I do not know what to make of the Muslim mystics, especially those who have come to be known as the Sufis. What do they experience in their mystical experiences? Could they have encountered the same God we do in our Christian mysticism?" (pp. 149-150)

Ron Miller sounds very much like many of today's emerging leaders when he says: "The modern age requires that we use our newly gained wisdom to transform the world (p. 7)." It is alarming to hear him say that mysticism (i.e., meditation) is the catalyst for "planetary healing," naming various ecological and social problems facing the world today. Because some of the most influential Christian leaders and organizations today are promoting contemplative spirituality with one hand and working towards global transformation and unity on the other, we believe they are going in the same direction and with the same vehicle (mysticism) as the New Age.

And when one realizes that the philosophy behind the New Age is panentheism (God in all) and that it totally negates the gospel message of Jesus Christ, then it is easier to see why it is so disturbing to see Christians promoting the emerging church and contemplative spirituality. For those readers who may be skeptical of our assertions, As Above, So Below has an entire chapter devoted to contemplative spirituality (chapter 3) and its vital place in its panoply of respected New Age practices. And yet that chapter makes reference to some of the same authors that Christians are now adhering to: Thomas Keating, Thomas Merton, the Desert Fathers, Julian of Norwich, and Martin Buber (quoted by Max Lucado on the divine spark). The fact is, Miller makes our point for us as no one else could.

1. Henri J.M. Nouwen, Thomas Merton: Contemplative Critic(San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row Publishers, 1991, Triumph Books Edition)
This article or excerpt was posted on January 26, 2007@ 9:00 am .
From: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com

            Are you shocked by what you have heard this morning? You should be. I like the way that Os Guinness put it as he tries to summarize what is going on with Christians today, how they are thinking. He wrote:

Countless “Christians” today believe . . . “because it works” (pragmatism), because they “feel it is true in their experience” (subjectivism), because they sincerely believe it is true “for them” (relativism), and so on . . . The Christian faith is not true because it works; it works because it is true. It is not true because we experience it; we experience it – deeply and gloriously – because it is true.

- Os Guinness, Time for Truth, 58

            How true and how tragic that is and it all boils down to the fact that we don’t fear the Word of the LORD and we fall prey to these doctrines of demons! But how are people going to be fooled into following the Antichrist during the Tribulation Period? Are they being set up for that today? I believe they are. Listen closely to what Warren Smith had to say in his book, Reinventing Jesus Christ about the New Age Movement. He wrote:

            “What had been called ‘new age’ is now being presented as ‘new gospel.’ These ‘new gospel’ teachings are not new and have actually been around for centuries in one form or another.

According to the “new gospel,” Christ is not a person. It is an office. The “new gospel” teaches that while Jesus of Nazareth occupied the office during His active ministry, He no longer holds that same position. Today the office of “Christ” is occupied by someone else. And this “someone else” is presently in the process of establishing contact with humanity. This “Christ” intimates that he is already in the world awaiting mankind’s call. “Concerned” that humanity is in peril and facing possible extinction, this “Christ” explains that his “new gospel” will unify the world’s major religions and bring peace to the world. He has communicated these “new gospel” teachings to his designated teachers, who in turn are now conveying these same teachings to the rest of the world.”

- Warren Smith, Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel

            Do you see how the New Age Movement is preparing the world for the Antichrist and uniting the world into a one-world religion under the premise that we all are god! I think you can see how dangerous this really is and it should be a wake-up call to the church of Jesus Christ!  It is as Jesus said in Matthew 24:5, For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  We are seeing that today!

            And in case you are wondering how such delusion could take place within Christendom, perhaps the words of New Ager Wayne Dyer are right:

            “When enough of us align in a certain way, reaching a critical mass, then the rest of us will begin to be affected and align that way also. (Interview from Science of Mind magazine, 01/93).

And Perhaps the words of Alice Bailey, (who personified the New Age Movement) were right also when she said that the Age of enlightenment, (when everyone realizes they are one with each other and God), will come, not around the Christian church but rather through it!  That should be a warning to us folks, it is happening!

            The Bible warns us that in the last days, For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.  II Timothy 4:3-4.  That is what we see happening before our eyes today.  Now I don’t want to discourage you but I do want you to understand that we are in a battle for the truth.

            It is as James A. Herrick wrote, “We have moved away from the notion of a personal creator God and toward the divine self . . . we have wholly embraced the idea of spiritual evolution and its attendant idea of an ascending spiritual elite. This is a truly dangerous idea that has had horrific consequences.” And folks, it will only get worse!

Jude warns us, Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jude 3-4.

            We must earnestly contend for the faith that has been entrusted to us, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but how?  Paul told Timothy and he is telling us, I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

II Timothy 4:1-2.  You see, get back to the basics, back to the Word of God and you will not be lead astray!

            I am excited about the days we are living in because I know that the Lord’s return is getting close but I am also saddened by how quickly the church is falling away and becoming lukewarm, where Jesus is not even allowed into the church, the true Jesus that is! May we earnestly contend for the faith in love, as God has instructed us to do.  Let me admonish you with these words from Paul, Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  I Timothy 6:12.

            Let me close with this. Remember what we read in Exodus 9:20-21, He who feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his livestock flee to the houses. But he who did not regard the word of the Lord left his servants and his livestock in the field. May we learn to fear the Word of the Lord, to apply it to our lives or there is danger as we move away from it! May we heed the words of God because, as Paul said, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17!  May we not forget that, God’s Word is sufficient for us to live holy lives as we submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word by His Spirit will expose the false doctrine, the doctrines of demons that are out there if we are willing to listen and obey the Lord!

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